Last Updated On: July 3, 2018
Ever since I can remember, I have been obsessed with hotels. I still think staying in different hotels (even its having a staycation in my own city) is so much fun and I love everything that goes into making a hotel stay so wonderful. Living in Chicago I been able to visit many of the best hotel lobbies and bars in Chicago. Recently, I’ve been watching this show on Netflix called Amazing Hotels which explores some of the most extravagant hotels in the world and everything that goes on behind to scenes to give their guests the best experience possible. It’s such an interesting show and if you love hotels like I do I definitely recommend watching.
My husband and I have always enjoyed going to hotels in Chicago for an evening cocktail. My friends have asked me, why do you guys love going to hotels so much? I always tell them it’s because the best hotel lobbies are very loungy and chic, the decor is always interesting, the drinks are great with a fun atmosphere to match.
Since we currently work from home it’s also nice to spend part of the day working in a hotel lobby. That might sound strange but there are actually quite a few amazing hotel lobbies to work in and these hotel lobbies are not just for business travelers. Also, with so many new amazing hotel rooftops opening all over the city, hanging out in hotels bars and lobbies in Chicago has really become the thing to do.
You might also like this guide to the best rooftops bars in Chicago
With all that said I thought it would be fun to create a girl’s guide to my favorite hotel lobbies and bars in Chicago. So, next time you are looking for something different to do, grab your girlfriends or your significant other and head to one of the best hotel lobbies and bars in Chicago for a fancy cocktail. Or, if you work from home, take a break from your everyday routine and enjoy lounging and getting some work done in one of the best hotels in the city.
1. 2nd Floor Lobby at Chicago Athletic Association
One of my favorite hotel lobbies for the decor is at the Chicago Athletic Association. They have a great lobby on the 2nd floor with plenty of cozy couches and even little window nooks that you can cozy up in. I have really enjoyed coffee and breakfast and spending a few hours working here. Also, plan to come in the evenings to enjoy games and drinks in the Game Room. On the same floor is also a secret speakeasy called the Milk Room. The Milk Room is kind of hush, hush so you have to email directly to make a reservation, as this bar can only fit a handful of people. I also have to mention their amazing rooftop bar called Cindy’s with literally the best views of Millenium Park, the city skyline, and Lake Michigan.
2. The Commons Club at The Virgin Hotel
If you are looking for somewhere a little groovy, you got to head to the Commons Club at The Virgin Hotel. The drinks are cool, there’s unique seating everywhere you look, and the bar even has vintage board games to play. On the weekends, you and your girlfriends can make reservations at the Commons Club for their boozy upside down tea party.
3. Staytion Market & Bar at the Renaissance Chicago
Another cool place to go and work at for a few hours is the newly renovated lobby of the Renaissance Chicago, Staytion Market & Bar. It has a really fun vibe. When I stopped by in the middle of the day, there was plenty of couches and tables to relax at, enjoy a coffee, something to eat, and spend a few hours working.
4. Travelle Bar at The Langham Chicago
If you are looking for somewhere that’s trendy but also cozy during the winter months, one of my go-to hotel lobby bars is the Travell Bar at The Langham. The bar overlooks the Chicago River and you can sit anywhere in the bar for a great view and a cozy spot. My husband and I usually go here for a drink either before or after dinner downtown.
If you are lucky you will spot The Langham’s cute pink taxi. Be sure to snap a photo of the tax, it’s very Instagram worthy!
5. The Lobby and Upstairs at The Gwen
If you love the 1930’s Hollywood era then you will love the lobby of The Gwen Hotel. You will feel so glamorous having drinks with the ladies in the bar of this hotel. I highly suggest you stop here with your girlfriends before a dinner for a fun 1930’s inspired cocktail (I love the French 75) or stop by for drinks after a day of shopping on Michigan Avenue.
In the summer, just walk out to the terrace for cocktails on their rooftop bar, Upstairs at The Gwen. Be sure to get a Prosecco Popsicle.
6. Cafè Integral and Broken Shaker at The Freehand Hotel
If you are looking for a chill but a cool place to relax, head to Cafè Integral at The Freeland Hotel. Lots of backpackers hang out here so you never know who you will meet. After 4 pm, head to the back of the cafè for drinks at the hotel’s speakeasy, the Broken Shaker. The Broken Shaker even has a pretty good happy hour!
7. 676 Restaurant at the Omni Chicago
Ok, 676 is not actually in the hotel lobby but it’s definitely the place to be at this hotel. It’s one of my favorite places to go for a cocktail and a few appetizers because you can sit right by the window of the restaurant and overlook Michigan Avenue. During the holiday season, I love to sit up here in the evenings and watch the holiday shoppers and all the beautiful lights along Michigan Avenue.
8. The Lobby and The Bar at The Peninsula Chicago
I actually did a girl’s guide on how to spend a whole weekend at The Peninsula Hotel, which you can read here. The Peninsula Hotel is my favorite hotel in Chicago. I’ve definitely spent a lot of time here over the years. I really enjoy kicking off the holidays with my girlfriends with the Chocolate Bar in the Lobby.
In the summer, I love sitting outside at Shanghai Terrace for one of their delicious and refreshing cocktails. During the winter, I’ve always been lucky to get a spot right by the fire at The Bar to enjoy a glass of wine or a hot toddy. I can’t forget to mention that The Peninsula Chicago just opened (Summer 2018) their newest rooftop bar called Z Bar. The vibe to me is very 1950’s old Hollywood and I absolutely love that era. Definitely add this bar to your summer list for a great astrosphere, and incredible views and cocktails.
9. The Palm Court at the Drake Hotel Chicago
During the holidays you have to stop by to enjoy all the wonderful and traditional Christmas decorations at The Drake Hotel. Whether you are here visiting or live in Chicago you really have to have afternoon tea at the Palm Court. It’s especially great during the holidays and the most popular place to go for holiday tea in Chicago. And any time of the year if you are looking for a little old school glam you can always stop by anytime to enjoy a cocktail or two in the Palm Court.
10. Salone Nico at the Thompson Chicago
After a day of shopping around Michigan Avenue stop by Salone Nico at the Thompson Chicago. It’s really nice to enjoy a glass of wine in the trendy wine bar or you can even enjoy a drink by the cozy fireplace right in the lobby.
11. The Rooftop at Torali and the Lobby at The Ritz Carlson
The Ritz Carlson just went over a huge multi-million dollar renovation and I have to say this one of my new favorite hotel lobby and bar to hang out in. During the day the rooftop is a great place to grab lunch and even work. As you sit outside and enjoy this garden inspired rooftop you are situated with a perfect view of the Hancock Building (my favorite). All year long you can have coffee at The Cafè while relaxing in comfy chairs in a beautiful atrium or enjoy a cocktail in their chic lobby bar.
12. Cafè Robey and The Up Room at The Robey
The Robey is located in the fun and hip neighborhood of Wicker Park. Cafè Robey has a great 2nd floor workspaces with coffee and tea available. A cute restaurant on the first floor of the hotel and a cocktail bar called The Up Room (with a pool!) on the rooftop.
13. Somerset and Devereaux at The Viceroy
New to the Gold Coast is the luxury Viceroy hotel. The decor of this hotel is another one of my absolute favorites again because of the old Hollywood glam vibe throughout. Their lobby is basically one huge glamourous restaurant open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. After lunch or dinner, you can head up to their rooftop which has amazing views of the city, enjoy a cocktail at their indoor and outdoor bar, or book a room and lounge by their rooftop pool.
14. The Hotel Zachary
Head north to the definitely improved Wrigleyville. Where before there were just tons and tons of divey bars, now you will find great restaurants and more trendy bars. The Hotel Zachary has an old 1920’s baseball vibe which of course is fitting since it’s right across the street from the stadium. At the hotel lobby bar, you will find classic cocktails, plenty of seating, and even a patio terrace that overlooks the park. It’s the perfect place to head before or after the game.
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The Best Hotel Lobbies and Bars in Chicago